I have a new record out! The official release date is February 10 2014, for no good reason. The album is called “Shine Out“. It was made relatively quickly (for me); it only took about 6 months! Entirely DIY.
This blog post and potentially some Facebook posts are pretty much the entire publicity campaign. Go on, tell your friends!
My last album before this, “All Attractions“, took quite awhile longer. I started it after the release of “Honey” in 2008. An indie label in the US was interested and we began negotiations for releasing a compilation album from all of my previous records and then a new record on its heels, we got so far as going back and forth on a contract and I began recording basic tracks for what became “All Attractions”, and then they backed out suddenly after I had asked a lawyer friend to look over the contract. So I sort of shut down and stopped recording and writing for most of 2009. Maybe it was the whole financial crisis. I ended up having my teaching contracts not renewed in 2009 as well, so I started working full time at Pandora, so that made it more difficult to work on recording as well. Later that year I had a couple of nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco opening for Built To Spill (on Halloween even!) so I began working on the recordings again after that, and eventually even went back to record a few more basics. While at the studio, we had an afternoon free, so we improvised, and when I worked on overdubs for everything, I made these improvisations into pieces, and decided to release both myself as one double CD, All Attractions and Apricot Jam. I did a Kickstarter project to fund it, and in late 2011 this whole process finally ended and I printed up 300 copies and sold them out in 2012. (I printed up another 150 of each recently, separately this time, if you want one! See below…)
So the other fun thing that happened in 2012 was that I got fired from my job at Pandora (long story) and with a 9-month old daughter, the threat of no health insurance, and a wife who had been on maternity leave from being a pre-school teacher for a year, there was no way to make the mortgage. The bank didn’t help, so within a couple months, we made the decision to leave the country. My wife is Swedish and was into moving back anyway, so we did. It’s been tough for me to be an immigrant at my advanced age, but it’s ultimately a good choice, I think.
Anyway, I hadn’t intended to make a new album at all. But since I don’t have a job and spent much of 2013 flying back and forth on tour with Camper Van Beethoven promoting our album “La Costa Perdida” which came out in January 2013, what time I did have in the summer we spent out in the country instead of looking for a job. And I started recording there (when my daughter was napping). So everything was recorded within a two month or so period, we came back to Stockholm in September and I went back to language school and mixed the songs when I could in our new apartment, sent it to my friend Myles Boisen to master it in December and had 150 CDs printed while I was in the US again on tour last month (January 2014.) Voila. Instant record. It’s the quickest one I’ve ever made!
One reason, I guess, is that it was only me working on it. There aren’t any drums (though there is a drum machine on a couple tracks) and I can play a bunch of instruments, so that’s no problem. The songs are not necessarily as pastoral as it might sound, nor as stripped down: I do play some ripping electric guitar on a few tracks! It may be a little more psych-folk than things I’ve done in the past, but I actually took the acoustic guitar out of a few of the mixes. Anyway, there it is, a candid shot of me right now. The pictures on the cover are of the old cabin we lived in in the summer and my little daughter running around (off the path).
It’s really only available on Bandcamp, or from me whenever Camper Van Beethoven is on tour. I have several copies in Sweden if you are in Europe and want to purchase the CD, also there are a bunch at Victor Krummenacher’s house in California and I may be able to convince him to send them within the US. Maybe. Same if you want
“All Attractions”, “Apricot Jam” or “Honey”. Just let me know!